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    Okay, so I have to send in written work to Oxford by the 10th of November - the course I am applying for is History and the college is Worcester. I emailed the Admissions tutor asking her what sort of written work they want to receive and she said it can't be a source-based essay, and it can only be an A2 (Year 13) essay. She also said something that thoroughly confused me -- "it can't be a structured question" and I assume that means I can't write an essay based on a specific exam question directed at a certain topic? Which is really odd, and also annoying, because the only "type" of essays we do for school are structured ones - I would've been happy to write just a random essay on whatever historical topic we're doing at school but she also said it HAD to be a marked essay, specifically done as part of school work. And, as I've just said, the only type of essays we do at school are structured ones based on exam questions. *sigh*
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    (Original post by katy__)
    Okay, so I have to send in written work to Oxford by the 10th of November - the course I am applying for is History and the college is Worcester. I emailed the Admissions tutor asking her what sort of written work they want to receive and she said it can't be a source-based essay, and it can only be an A2 (Year 13) essay. She also said something that thoroughly confused me -- "it can't be a structured question" and I assume that means I can't write an essay based on a specific exam question directed at a certain topic? Which is really odd, and also annoying, because the only "type" of essays we do for school are structured ones - I would've been happy to write just a random essay on whatever historical topic we're doing at school but she also said it HAD to be a marked essay, specifically done as part of school work. And, as I've just said, the only type of essays we do at school are structured ones based on exam questions. *sigh*
    Ok, so please don't take this as gospel as I am thinking back a few years here but I *think* they mean that they don't want a question that has an a) and b) section or one that is along the lines of "talk about x considering first y) and z)" ie: one that guides you through how to write the answer.

    I *think* that they expect an essay along the lines of "To what extent did x affect y". As the tutor said, it is supposed to be something you have done as 'normal' so that they can a) see what level you are working at normally (without lots of extra prep) and b) so they know it is a topic you have studied and would be able to talk about in interview.

    You could also ask on the Oxford specific board as there is lots of chat going on there about applications and requirements (plus possibly some Oxford historians who have done this more recently than me).
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    (Original post by Kiki09)
    Ok, so please don't take this as gospel as I am thinking back a few years here but I *think* they mean that they don't want a question that has an a) and b) section or one that is along the lines of "talk about x considering first y) and z)" ie: one that guides you through how to write the answer.

    I *think* that they expect an essay along the lines of "To what extent did x affect y". As the tutor said, it is supposed to be something you have done as 'normal' so that they can a) see what level you are working at normally (without lots of extra prep) and b) so they know it is a topic you have studied and would be able to talk about in interview.

    You could also ask on the Oxford specific board as there is lots of chat going on there about applications and requirements (plus possibly some Oxford historians who have done this more recently than me).
    Thank you so much for clearing that up!
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    (Original post by katy__)
    Thank you so much for clearing that up!
    When you are choosing (assuming you have done more than one essay that could be sent in) do bear in mind that the essay may be used as a starting point for discussion in an interview (as well as being given a score as part of the decision making process) so don't send in an essay about a topic you hated and can't talk about widely with interest and passion. Obviously if one essay is miles ahead mark wise or is the only essay you've done you will have to go with it but if you can choose, do it carefully.
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    (Original post by Kiki09)
    When you are choosing (assuming you have done more than one essay that could be sent in) do bear in mind that the essay may be used as a starting point for discussion in an interview (as well as being given a score as part of the decision making process) so don't send in an essay about a topic you hated and can't talk about widely with interest and passion. Obviously if one essay is miles ahead mark wise or is the only essay you've done you will have to go with it but if you can choose, do it carefully.
    Noted! Thank you again! I'm choosing a question which I know and am very keen to discuss so, hopefully if I am shortlisted, I'll be able to reflect that in the interview!
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    (Original post by Kiki09)
    Ok, so please don't take this as gospel as I am thinking back a few years here but I *think* they mean that they don't want a question that has an a) and b) section or one that is along the lines of "talk about x considering first y) and z)" ie: one that guides you through how to write the answer.

    I *think* that they expect an essay along the lines of "To what extent did x affect y". As the tutor said, it is supposed to be something you have done as 'normal' so that they can a) see what level you are working at normally (without lots of extra prep) and b) so they know it is a topic you have studied and would be able to talk about in interview.

    You could also ask on the Oxford specific board as there is lots of chat going on there about applications and requirements (plus possibly some Oxford historians who have done this more recently than me).
    thank you for this! tbh all the people writing researched and prepared essays to send especially annoy me because i don't want to do that anyway and oxford asks for normal work so... if everyone just sent in normal schoolwork... it would be fair...

    also, about it being A2 work, i guess it just means being to A2 standard, so as we don't do AS anymore it would be ok to send an essay from the second half of year 12 that's for an A2 question?
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    The request for 2nd year of A-level work is twofold. 1) the assumption is that your standard of work should be going up as you do the course so a piece of work from the last month is more reflective of your current ability than one from the middle of last year. (and when you come to revise next year you will realise how much you have come on since the middle of your first year of A-levels 2) From your perspective, you may be asked to talk about the essay as part of your interview - if it is several months since you studied this is more challenging than if you studied it a month go (obviously this may change now that you are back to being examined at the end of two years rather than doing your AS then moving on from those topics).

    If you have absolutely nothing appropriate from your second year of A-levels then, yes, send a year 12 piece of work because you have no choice but otherwise think carefully about the two points above. You want written work that shows your ability (without being written specially!) and which you can discuss further.
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    Also bear in mind that Oxford have requested A2 level work for a reason ie: 2nd year of study so to ignore that would a) look like you can't follow instructions and b) miss out on the reason why they have asked for work from that year of study. Again, if you have written no essays yet this year you may have no choice but that is a different situation.
 
 
 
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